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May 29, 2016 / 21 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

Anti-Semitism in Austria ‘Highest in Years’

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

A Jewish organization in Vienna says anti-Semitism in Austria is at its highest level in years.

The group representing the Jewish community is an NGO (non-governmental organization) called the Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde, or IKG.

Data presented to the IKG by a second group, the Forum Against Anti-Semitism (Forum gegen Antisemitismus) indicates last year there were 465 incidents involving anti-Semitism, as compared to 255 such incidents in 2014 – an 82 percent rise.

In 2015, nearly half of the incidents involved Islamic anti-Semitism online (205 cases), according to IKG President Oskar Deutsch. There were 85 anti-Semitic incidents online in 2014.

Around 15,000 Jews live in Austria.

“There is an increasing concern in our community that – if the proportion of Muslims in Austria continues to rise due to immigration, due to the refugees – this could become problematic for us,” IKG secretary-general Raimund Fastenbauer told the European Jewish Press.

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has urged the European Union and its member states to increase efforts to combat widespread anti-Semitic cyber hate.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz reacted to the report by affirming, “Jewish life must be protected in Austria. It is the duty of the state to make Jewish people in Austria feel secure; that is for us as Austria a great responsibility.”

However, Sebastian did not outline any concrete plan to address the issue, nor did he offer any suggestion to the Jewish community on how to mitigate the threat.

Hana Levi Julian

Hezbollah More Isolated Among Arab Nations With Closer Ties to Iran

Friday, April 8th, 2016

While the Lebanon-based Iranian proxy Hezbollah terror organization is growing in its worldwide influence, it is slowly being squeezed into isolation in the Arab world.

Both the Beirut Arab satellite operator “Nilesat” and “Arabsat” have cut their transmissions of the Al-Manar television channel.

Al Manar is the official media outlet of Hezbollah.

For the time being, Hezbollah is carrying on its media activities via the Russian satellite, broadcasting on RT Arabic (Russia Today), according to telecommuncations expert Tony Hayek, who was quoted by A-Sharq Al-Awsat, owned by Saudi Arabia.

The group itself has also been squeezed out of Arab brotherhood organizations, largely through the efforts of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which withdrew a significant sum for military aid from Lebanon this year.

The Gulf Cooperation Council and then the Arab League as well both officially declared Hezbollah to be a terrorist entity. The declaration carries severe implications financially as well as socially for members of the group when they travel abroad and in terms of their banking affairs.

Hezbollah is listed as a terrorist organization in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and Israel. However, the EU and UK make a distinction between the group’s military and “political” wings.

The terror group’s Lebanese parliamentarian, Nawwaf Moussawi accused Lebanese authorities of not taking effective measures against the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The Saudi-owned newspaper, which is based in London, carried a satiric cartoon about the Iranian proxy group earlier in the month. According to a report by the newspaper its Beirut offices were targeted by a gang of unnamed attackers.

The vandals broke into the offices of the newspaper in Lebanon, and wrecked the premises. Seven of the attackers are currently being held by authorities; an eighth is still at large. Trial of the detainees set to begin Monday, A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported.

Even as its star may be fading in the Middle East, however, Hezbollah is growing new tentacles elsewhere in the world.

A Hezbollah terrorist cell in Europe was recently arrested by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for drug trafficking and money laundering.

The terrorist organization has established business relationships with a number of drug cartels in South America, according to DEA acting deputy administrator Jack Riley.

Hezbollah has been known for years to be running operations through Mexico as well.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: Germany Spied on Israel’s PM, US, UK, EU, Vatican & OPEC

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

Germany’S BND Spied on Netanyahu, US, UK, Austrians and Others

Germany’s BND (Federal Intelligence Service) reportedly has been spying on the office of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according a report Saturday by the German weekly Der Spiegel.

The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the report.

Israel’s espionage agency provided deep intelligence to Germany about an imminent terror attack on a list of targets. The alert, which included the Hanover soccer stadium, came just days after the Nov. 13 (2015) terror attacks in Paris, according to a report in the Stern weekly. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was set to attend the match together with other government officials to show solidarity with the French.

The BND pretty much has been spying on everyone, according to the report in Der Spiegel, which is what international intelligence agencies do. But it’s considered very bad form to get caught in the process, especially by media, who nearly always expose a spy agency for doing so.

Germany’s BND has been caught by Der Spiegel more than once, which prompts other media to wonder what this is really about.

The German weekly also reported the BND spied on American diplomats placed in various locations around Europe, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Air Force and NASA, the U.S. space agency.

Other targets that were under the German spy agency’s surveillance were the British Ministry of Defense, the International Monetary Fund, the interior ministers of Austria and Belgium and the headquarters of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Six months ago Der Spiegel reported the BND was monitoring all communication devices of the embassies and consulates belonging to the U.S., UK, France, Sweden, Spain and other nations. It also spied on the Vatican, the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, U.S. diplomats at the United Nations and in Brussels, the U.S. Department of the Interior, NATO officials and European Union states.

Apparently, Merkel took the American president at his word when he said last week at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C.: ““We’re all going to have to do more when it comes to intelligence sharing.”

Hana Levi Julian

3 More Terrorists Charged in Brussels Airport, Metro Attacks

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Officials say three more terror suspects were charged in the Islamic State (ISIS) attacks on Zaventem Airport and the metro station near the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels last week.

Faycal Cheffou, the man in the light vest and dark hat seen in the airport CCTV video footage last week was arrested Thursday. The Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office said he was charged with “involvement in a terrorist group, terrorist murder and attempted terrorist murder,” according to Fox News. Belgian media said Cheffou was a local activist known to police as an agitator who tried to convert local homeless and asylum-seekers to radical Islam.

Two other suspects arrested Thursday, Raba N. and Aboubakar A., were both charged with “involvement in the activities of a terrorist group.”

On Sunday, police in Italy arrested an Algerian suspect in Bellizzi in the Salerno province, according to the ANSA Italian news agency.

The Algerian suspect is wanted by Belgian authorities on suspicion of producing fake residency documents linked to the Brussels Attacks, Italian National Police told CNN. In addition, he is also wanted in connection with the Nov. 13 terrorist massacre in Paris, police said in a statement on Twitter.

An American couple has been identified among the dead from last Tuesday’s attack in Brussels.

Justin and Stephanie Shults, ages 30 and 29 respectively, were missing since last Tuesday. Both were graduates of Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. They were dropping off Stephanie’s mother at the airport when the bombers detonated their explosives. The mother emerged unscathed.

Officials revised the death toll from the Brussels attacks to 28, removing the bodies of the three suicide bombers from the count. Thus far, 24 of the victims have been identified by Brussels officials.

Hana Levi Julian

Brussels Airport Suicide Bombers Named, 1 ISIS Terrorist Named, At Large

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Belgian media have named the two suicide bombers who blew up the departure hall at Zaventem Airport in Brussels on Tuesday.

State broadcaster RTBF reported the two terrorists were brothers, Khalid and Ibrahim El-Bakraoui, both known to the police.

A third suspect, Najim Laachraoui, was also seen on CCTV security footage before the explosions in the airport, and remains at large.

Brussels authorities have asked residents to stay in their homes due to the security situation in the city.

The two brothers were acknowledged as “martyrs” by the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization. The terror group took responsibility for the attacks on the city’s airport and a metro station near the headquarters of the European Union.

At least 30 people died in the attacks and more than 200 others were wounded. Two Israelis who sustained minor wounds and four U.S. citizens who were hospitalized.

Hana Levi Julian

15 Dead as 3 Explosions in Brussels Metro Lead to System-wide Shut Down

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Belgium has raised its national threat alert to Level 4, the highest possible, after three explosions shut down the Brussels metro following a massive attack on the city’s international airport. 15 people were killed in the train attack and another 55 were wounded.

The Brussels Metro rail system was struck Tuesday morning in a carefully time, coordinated attack with blasts that were detonated within minutes of each other at separate locations.

The attacks came about a half hour after a suicide bombing at the departure hall of Zaventem Airport in the Belgian capital which killed at least 11 people and wounded 35.

The first two explosions in the city are believed to have taken place on a train between the Maalbeek/Maelbeek and Schuman stations stations, near the headquarters of the European Commission.

The blasts were heard at Maalbeek metro station at around 8:30 am, according to RTBF, about 400 meters from the Berlaymont building – home to the headquarters of the European Commission.

A witness said the explosion appeared to come from the front of the train. “The lights went off, there was panic given what happened at Brussels airport.

“The doors of the train were forced open to get off the train. There was a lot of smoke. We left via Maelbeek station. The glass doors were blown out. The explosion must have been violent.”

No trains are currently running to or from Brussels Midi, according to the Eurostar company.

“Brussels customers are advised to postpone, and not come to station,” the firm tweeted. “Our thoughts rest with anyone affected by the unfolding events in Brussels – we are closely monitoring and will update,” a Eurostar spokesperson said in a statement.

Both France and Britain have raised their national alert levels.

Security was increased at London Gatwick and Heathrow Airport following the attacks, and at the Paris Charles de Gaulles airport as well. UK Prime Minister David Cameron is set to chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee Tuesday evening in response to the explosions in Brussels.

Hana Levi Julian

US Lawmakers Call on EU to Put All of Hezbollah on Terrorist List

Friday, March 11th, 2016

In a letter to the European Union’s Ambassador to the United States, David O’Sullivan, U.S. Representatives took the EU to task for pretending there is a legitimate “political” wing of Hezbollah. The EU has labeled Hezbollah’s “military arm” as a terrorist organization, distinguishing it from the group’s political wing, which is not so designated.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL-06) and Grace Meng (D-NY-06) sent the letter to O’Sullivan following the recent decision by an organization of Gulf States (GCC) to designate the entire Hezbollah enterprise as a terrorist organization.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.)

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.)

Queens. New York City Rep. Grace Meng.

Queens. New York City Rep. Grace Meng.

“While the 2013 EU designation of Hezbollah’s military wing was a step in the right direction, distinguishing between Hezbollah’s military and political arms is a distinction without a difference,” Roskam and Meng wrote. “Hezbollah can easily transfer money within its organization, rendering EU attempts to effectively sanction its terrorist activities meaningless. The entire organization is implicated in Hezbollah’s nefarious activities.”

The U.S. lawmakers made no bones about the extent of mayhem Hezbollah has unleashed on the world:

Since its founding, Hezbollah, funded in part by Iran, has been responsible for thousands of deaths in Lebanon, Turkey, Bulgaria, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and many more. There is no indication that Hezbollah has slowed its terrorist activities. In recent years, Hezbollah has been implicated in plots in Cyprus, Thailand, Nigeria, Uruguay, the U.S. and more.

Roskam and Meng then turned to the dangers posed to Israel by Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is also in possession of approximately 150,000 rockets and missiles, some of which are capable of precision targeting nearly anywhere in Israel. In February, Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah declared his intention to target an ammonia plant in Haifa and boasted that such an action will ‘lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of inhabitants.’ This type of action goes against international law, all recognized norms of armed conflict, and basic morality. We are inching closer to another Hezbollah-initiated war against Israel that would be disastrous for all involved.

“The European Union is a vital partner to the United States in addressing global issues,” the two Members of Congress added. “Given our collective importance to the global financial system, a unified approach to countering terrorist financing would be a formidable obstacle for terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. We urge the European Union to immediately designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and work to oppose their global terrorist ambitions.”

The letter was sent to O’Sullivan on March 9.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-lawmakers-call-on-eu-to-put-all-of-hezbollah-on-terrorist-list/2016/03/11/

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